Need something hearty? Pre-party?

Posted on: March 20th, 2009 by admin 1 Comment

Eatpress is really lucky to have wonderful friends in many countries. This post is compliments of our beautiful London correspondent, Lady Grey.

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Saturday Night Mexican Beans

Last Saturday we had friends over for afternoon tea, shortly followed by an evening out for another friend’s birthday drinks. With a gap between of only one and a half hours, we needed something quick to make, filling enough to line our stomachs before a night out, and preferably healthy. And the kicker? Only a few lonely carrots and a single red pepper rattling around in the bottom of the fridge. Here was my solution:

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 onion, slicedbeans1
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1 tin corn
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 4 sausages
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 tsp chilli
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds*
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 handful fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 red pepper (capsicum to Australians)
  • Olive oil
  • Natural yoghurt

Heat the olive oil in a large pan (this is a one pot meal). Fry the onion for a minute or so, then add the garlic and sausages. Fry for several minutes until the onions have started to soften, then add the spices and stir for a minute more to let the fragrance out. You can then begin whacking everything in – tinned tomatoes, beans, lentils, corn, carrots, and pepper. Crumble in a vegetable stock cube and top up with some water – enough to cook the lentils through and get everything else stewing together nicely. If you boil the water in the kettle first it will speed things up even more. Put a lid on top and leave to simmer for 15-20 minutes – check a few times to stir, and if there appears to be too much liquid take the lid off to help it evaporate. In the last few minutes take out the sausages and cut into chunks, add them back in, stir in the fresh coriander, and check for seasoning – the stock cube should be enough but you may want to add salt or pepper.

The whole mish mash of fresh and dried veg should have amalgamated into a rich spicy stew. I served it in bowls with a big dollop of natural yoghurt on top, but you could also top with sour cream, grated cheese, sliced avocado, or leave it as is.

The main thing with this meal is that it should be quick and easy, healthy and hearty, and utilise whatever you have in the house. No carrots? That’s fine, do without, or add grated sweet potato or pumpkin instead. Use white beans or chick peas in place of kidney beans, split peas or rice in place of lentils, and leave the sausages out entirely if you want it to be a veggie meal.

The beans were filling and delicious and just what we needed before heading out into the crisp London night air. And the best thing? No hangover the next morning…

*Grated carrots will cook much, much quicker than chopped or diced.

*Ground cumin is fine too, but I prefer the whole seeds as they keep their flavour for longer.

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One Response

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